• Nadal still has niggling doubts on knee

    2/4/13 2:26 AM | Johan Lindahl
    Nadal still has niggling doubts on knee Rafael Nadal had a weekend VIP visit with Chile's star-struck president before travelling to Vina del Mar for his first competitive tennis in more than seven months as the Spaniard re-boots his career on clay.

    The visit of tennis royalty went down well in the capital of Santiago, with Nadal vowing to make the best of his time on court despite niggling problems with his knees.

    "It's been seven months since I've competed,"said world the No. 5. "This will be my first time playing in a very long time. Anything can happen. I'll try not to let it happen, but you have to be prepared for everything and be patient. You have to start somewhere. I think this is the right moment and the right place."

    The Spaniard said his problem left knee is doing as well as can be expected even after the longest absence of his career. "It's much better. That's the most important thing now because there's no risk of a big injury.

    "But it's still bothering me, which will keep me from playing all the time, which I would like to do. I'm here to give the best I have right now, and hope the knee holds up."

    Nadal will start with baby steps at the ATP 250 event, playing doubles with friend Juan Monaco and beginning his singles after a bye. He has Latin starts planned for Brazil and Mexico before a rich exho on hardcourt in New York. He will then attempt to play on cement at the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000 events in March.

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it will also be interesting to see how nadal's fitness is after 7 months without putting stress on his knees.

croc , 2/4/13 10:54 AM

nadal can't lose if he is 100%.


rfzr , 2/4/13 4:28 PM

Absolutely! A fit Rafa is invincible. Only morons and delusionals dispute this.

holdserve , 2/4/13 5:39 PM

You forgot twits.

Conspirator , 2/4/13 5:57 PM

Invincible? I hugely admire rafa and i worry when i read statemets like that as they're the kind of myths that get assigned to heroes by history, kind of like achieving god status after you're gone.

Don't worry or panic, rafans, stay patient and he'll be back winning titles and slams again.

alex , 2/4/13 6:20 PM

He is a beast on clay. He is still the man to beat on clay. I am sure even the first match after long break will be competitive if it's played against Djokovic.

antony , 2/4/13 6:24 PM

great to see our Rafa back on court...Rafa is cautious and smart to play the underdog role...he will be fine on his beloved clay...I am sure he will soon be back to his best...he just needs to pocket some quality match time...

Vamos Dear Rafa!!! We love you!

natashao , 2/4/13 6:40 PM

I think Rafa is being very wise in starting out slowly after being out of competition for so long. He is being very realistic in not trying to put unrealistic expectations on himself in the beginning. Starting on clay should help his body, especially the knee, as he eases into competition.

The key is how his knee holds up in his first few matches. At least now Rafa will have the opportunity to test his knee. I am so happy to see him back playing again!

Good luck, Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 2/4/13 10:44 PM

I hope Rafa skips IW and Miami both in March. There is actually no point playing it. Clay to hard and back to clay. He can take the entire March off :-) and then go for the kill at MC, Brcelona, Madrid, Rome and Paris

sanju , 2/5/13 5:37 AM

If anyone believes in astrology, here is an interesting read. However wht is she trying to say? Left it open ended. Any idea?

sanju , 2/5/13 5:51 AM

I think Rafa will play at IW/Miami, since he'll be at NA, playing an exho in New York in March with Delpo. I think it won't make sense for him to rest for the whole of March till mid April when MC starts. He would have halted his own momentum or stamina building that way. It would be wise for him to play through March to get himself match fit and ready for the European clay court season. By the time he arrives at the FO, assuming no further complications, he would've played for a solid four months with competition on every other week. I think that way he'll be ready for the FO.

luckystar , 2/5/13 6:57 AM

I think what Sally is trying to say is that the stars are mostly aligned against Rafa though his comeback cannot be ruled out entirely because of Jupiter. Also, it looks like she thinks Rafa might retire if his performance is not up to his high standards.
Anyway, astrology is bull.

holdserve , 2/5/13 7:03 AM

I do think that Rafa should play at I/W and Miami. At some point he is going to have to play on hard courts. He doesn't need rest, he needs match play. Given that he will already be in the states, then it makes even more sense for him to play in these two events. I don't think switching to two hard court tournaments is going to mess up his body. He needs to get fit, conditioned and keep playing. That is the best way to be ready for the clay court season.

Nativenewyorker , 2/5/13 8:02 AM

It's a good thing Rafa doesn't read some of the rubbish posted here.

jean , 2/5/13 9:06 AM

I thought it was worth posting that, according to an article on vb quoting Uncle Toni, the tape on Rafa's knee is part of the treatment. It has nothing to do with any problem with his knee.

There was an very informative article by a knowledgeable expert regarding the recovery process from tendinitis or tendinosis. There was a great deal of valuable information explaining how the process is handled and how to gradually increase the load on the tendon to get the cells to lay down new tissue. It was fascinating reading.

Here is the link. This article was posted on vb courtesy of forum member Natalie. With all of the speculation about Rafa's recovery, this at least provides a detailed analysis of the injury and recovery process.

Nativenewyorker , 2/5/13 10:28 AM

Thank you for the link, nny

There is only one bit in it that worries me, but maybe I am not interpreting the physiotherapist's comments right. It's the last thing Herrington is quoted saying. Then again, there are few black and white contexts in biology and medicine, and medicine and physiotherapy have their areas of spot-on understanding and their areas of relative ignorance, like every medical system.

chlorostoma , 2/5/13 4:38 PM


Is it the portion I quoted below? Because that did kind of concern me, too. I also wasn't sure exactly what the physio was saying. I think he is saying that if there has been enough sport-oriented loading in advance, then Rafa should not be feeling any pain at all. He seems to be saying that going back to competition would cause some pain but that there shouldn't be any pain before that point.

I am also not sure about the meaning of the tendon being "load-intolerant" now. Rafa won't be playing at a slam event for three or four months. I would assume by that time that the tendon would be able to tolerate the stress of a two week slam event. I don't know. I think this article really illustrated just how involved the recovery process is with this type of injury. This whole idea of gradually loading the tendon to build up new fibers is quite fascinating. Someone on vb compared the process to how a broken bone heals. This person said that they get you moving, walking and putting weight on the bone to strengthen it.

Herrington said: "The nature of that injury means an athlete is likely to get some pain when they load the knee at competition levels, but I'd be concerned if they were still feeling pain and hadn't done a significant amount of sport-oriented loading in advance.

"The tendon is load-intolerant now, so in a Slam-type tournament over two weeks solid there will be a consequence of that."

Nativenewyorker , 2/5/13 5:30 PM

yes it was that very last sentence that made me wonder whether it is worrying. A little too vague and jargony. And every body that is recovering is a bit different.

chlorostoma , 2/5/13 5:47 PM


I agree with your description of the language. I think we may just have to let it go. As you said so well, everybody is different when it comes to their recovery. This person is speaking in the abstract. Rafa's team has been with him throughout the recovery process. Uncle Toni's latest comments were very encouraging, especially his explanation that the tape on Rafa's knee was part of the recovery.

I am wondering if Rafa's first match will be televised. I am so anxious to see how he looks.

Nativenewyorker , 2/5/13 6:03 PM

nny, yes, his singles match will be televised...

Tennis Channel
Tennis Channel has just added Rafael Nadal's first match back from Vina Del Mar. Live coverage will be Wednesday at 4pm ET.

Conspirator , 2/5/13 6:16 PM

we all know that the health of Rafa's knees over the next months of pro tournaments is a little questionable and will be scrutinized to the n-th degree by many. Like you say, we have to just let all this go and see how his knees hold up. They and his feet have been a number of times over the years his main adversary, ok, I should say obstacle. Everyone (just about) is hoping for the best for his knees this year. The rest, as always, he will take care of the best he can. I do hope that all this prolonged rest he's had of his entire body and the other parts of his knees will mean a lot better physiological health this year.

chlorostoma , 2/5/13 6:30 PM


Thanks so much for the info about the tennis channel covering Rafa's match! I was checking out the channel guide and looking ahead to see if it was listed earlier today, but didn't see anything

Now I will know when to watch! Again, many thanks! :)


Everyone and his brother will be weighing in on how Rafa looks, his movement, is he favoring the knee, how is his footwork and on and on and on. Everyone will have an opinion. I always trust my own eyes when I watch him on court. I have watched so many of his matches over and over that I have almost memorized his movements and footwork. I always have a mental list of what I look for with Rafa.

However, first and foremost I want to revel in the moment when I see him walk out on the court! That's why I try not to analyze too much. It's his first match. We can't expect great things at the very beginning. It's a process. I may record the match and then watch it back more closely to look for a few key things. But I don't want to make the mistake of reading too much into a first match.

I think Rafa has set the bar low for himself to relieve the pressure and for the expectations of his fans. He knows that it will take time and match play. What I do really hope is that his comeback can proceed without any problems with the knee. We will have to see how his body holds up against the rigors of competition after such a long time.

Nativenewyorker , 2/6/13 2:40 AM


Sorry, but I don't know where that little "m" came after your name! LOL! It wasn't any kind of signal and I sure didn't mean to change your name! :)

Nativenewyorker , 2/6/13 2:42 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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